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20 Best Resorts Along the U.S. Gulf Coast

When most travelers think of visiting the U.S. coast, the Pacific or the Atlantic comes to mind. However, there’s a third coast with beautiful beaches and lots of southern flavor – the Gulf Coast. Running along the Gulf of Mexico, it stretches along the southern border of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. The region boasts a subtropical climate, a friendly vibe, and fun shopping and restaurant districts. One of the best ways to see the Gulf Coast is on a road trip with several beautiful beach towns along the way!

These are some of the best resorts along the Gulf Coast to maximize your beach time and discover the American South in a whole new way.

Florida

The Don CeSar - St Pete Beach, Florida The Don CeSar
Credit: The Don CeSar by doncesar.com

The Don CeSar - St Pete Beach, Florida

For an elegant and iconic stay along the coast, consider the Don CeSar for true Floridian charm. One of the best beach hotels in Florida, this is a place where you can enjoy poolside drinks, dive-in movie nights, and wave-runner rentals. Full of glamour and a true place of leisure, the Don CeSar has been a local destination since 1928 and hosted many famous figures. There are residence-style suites that are perfect for families and extended stays. Other things to do here are book an appointment at the spa, take the kids and teens to family programs and activities, and try out the various dining venues.

Key Amenities:

  • Programs for kids and teens

  • Spa with packages available

  • Poolside drinks and dive-in movies

South Seas – Captiva, Florida South Seas
Credit: South Seas by South Seas

South Seas – Captiva, Florida

Family vacations feel like magic when you stay at the South Seas, a 330-acre retreat and wildlife nature preserve on the Gulf Coast of Florida. In addition to access to Sunset Beach, a private stretch of natural sand with excellent shelling opportunities, the 330-acre family-friendly property boasts a fire pit for s’mores and family games and activities on its Marina lawn. The Yacht Club Marina has short and long-term dockage, while renowned fishing and boating charters are available, as well as eco-cruises and nature tours. Future plans include three family-friendly pools with waterslides, chaise lounges, private cabanas, and a poolside bar.

Key Amenities:

  • Set on a private beach

  • World-renowned fishing, boating, and yachting

  • Beachfront accommodation, including beach villas and beach homes

The Ritz-Carlton – Naples, Florida The Ritz-Carlton, Naples
Credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Naples by ritzcarlton.com

The Ritz-Carlton – Naples, Florida

One of the most luxurious hotels in Florida, the Ritz-Carlton in Naples offers an upscale stay with an oceanfront location and refined atmosphere. It has expansive suites with ocean views, a champagne bar, and a vegetable-forward menu at the Mediterranean restaurant. The spa is reopening, and package deals are available that include daily credit at the resort.

Key Amenities:

  • Suites with ocean views

  • Luxury spa on-site

  • Champagne bar and tasting experience

JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort – Marco Island, Florida JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort
Credit: JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort by marriott.com

JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort – Marco Island, Florida

For sophisticated luxury along three miles of pristine, private beaches of the Gulf Coast, book accommodation at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort. This resort has a long list of restaurants, two golf courses, fitness classes, a spa, and meeting rooms with terraces and Gulf views. Each room and suite has its own private balcony. It’s a top spot for business gatherings, family vacations, and romantic getaways. Guests can enjoy the adults-only private rooftop pool, award-winning cuisine at the Kane Tiki Bar & Grill, and the signature Ario restaurant that’s a favorite among wine enthusiasts.

Key Amenities:

Portofino Island Resort – Pensacola Beach, Florida Portofino Island Resort
Credit: Portofino Island Resort by Portofino Island Resort

Portofino Island Resort – Pensacola Beach, Florida

Portofino Island Resort is a Pensacola Beach resort that is family-friendly and overlooks the Gulf of Mexico and Santa Rosa Sound. Here, you can stay in a beach condo at this 28-acre resort with five 21-story towers and two- and three-bedroom accommodations. It has several restaurants, a full-service spa, five tennis courts, and two adventure centers. This is a fun place to spend your days on the water kayaking, surfing, and stand-up paddleboarding. Meanwhile, Adventure Cove offers water features, inflatable sides, and a water trampoline.

Key Amenities:

  • Two adventure centers with a water trampoline and slides

  • Full-service spa and tennis courts

  • Multiple restaurants on site

Lido Beach Resort – Sarasota, Florida Lido Beach Resort
Credit: Lido Beach Resort by lidobeachresort.com

Lido Beach Resort – Sarasota, Florida

Here’s a luxurious Gulf Coast resort with coastal-chic hotel rooms and suites. The Lido Beach Resort has accommodations available with private balconies, kitchens, and upscale amenities. It’s a great place for a couple’s trip, a family vacation with dogs, or a group gathering. There is a 300-foot sand beach by the resort, as well as two year-round heated pools and a poolside bar. People love staying here for the beach, tiki bar, sailing, scuba diving, fishing, and dining. This is where you’ll find some of the best seafood along the Gulf and a fun place to celebrate holidays too.

Key Amenities:

  • Rooms with kitchens and balconies

  • Heated pools and a poolside bar

  • Seafood dining at the on-site restaurant

Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina – Fort Myers Beach, Florida Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina
Credit: Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina by pinkshell.com

Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina – Fort Myers Beach, Florida

Pink Shell is a full-service resort on Estero Island and is surrounded by the Matanzas Pass and the Gulf of Mexico. The resort spans 12 acres and is a popular destination for beach weddings. Guests can spend time at the beach, pool, fitness center, and bar and grill on the pool deck. Jack’s Restaurant at the resort is a great place to get a hearty breakfast with waterfront views. Contact the hotel to learn about current and upcoming activities and events scheduled. Some fun experiences offered here in the past include beach yoga, kayak tours, and arts and crafts sessions.

Key Amenities:

  • Beach and pool with a bar and grill on the pool deck

  • Breakfast served with waterfront views

  • Scheduled events and activities

Opal Sands Resort – Clearwater, Florida Aerial Hotel View
Credit: Aerial Hotel View by opalsands.com

Opal Sands Resort – Clearwater, Florida

The Opal Sands Resort is a Clearwater Beach retreat with gulf-front views from every hotel room. There are Gulf-front guest rooms and suites here, plus various dining experiences, immersive art, and a zero-entry pool near the shore. You can relax in the shade in a private cabana by the pool while sipping handcrafted cocktails and snacking on light fare from the poolside bar. There’s a luxurious spa at the resort with Gulf-inspired treatments and a fitness center on-site too.

Key Amenities:

  • Zero-entry pool with poolside bar

  • Spa with Gulf-inspired treatments

  • Multiple dining options

The Port Inn and Cottages – Port St. Joe, Florida Port Inn & Cottages
Credit: Port Inn & Cottages by portinnandcottages.com

The Port Inn and Cottages – Port St. Joe, Florida

The Port Inn has cozy rooms and is located about 20 minutes from Apalachicola and Mexico Beach, which is one of Florida’s underrated beaches on the Gulf Coast. It’s also conveniently located close to St. Joseph Bay and Frank Pate Park, which have fishing charters, boat launch facilities, and waterfront dining opportunities. A hub for ecotourism, this area is known for birding and scalloping in the Gulf waters. It’s designed in the style of a 1920s Florida beach inn and was restored in 2002. Grab a cocktail at the Thirsty Goat Lounge and buy a Florida fishing license to experience the enduring tradition of this barrier peninsula. The port cottages are pet-friendly for guests traveling with four-legged friends, and there’s a swimming pool along with grills for hanging out.

Key Amenities:

  • Pet-friendly cottages

  • Free deluxe continental breakfast

  • Seasonal outdoor pool with sun deck

Alabama

The Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa – Fairhope, Alabama The Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa
Credit: The Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa by The Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa

The Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa – Fairhope, Alabama

The massive Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa spans nearly 600 acres and has lovely views of the bay. Guests who stay here can experience the restaurant and nightlife scene of Mobile and also the quaint town of Fairhope. Borrow a bike to explore Fairhope on two wheels and a fishing pole to try your luck at the nearby pier. There are two golf courses to play at the Lakewood Golf Club, a 20,000-square-foot spa, and ten tennis courts here, as well as the Bayside Grill, which specializes in steak and seafood.

Key Amenities:

  • Two golf courses

  • Beach access and cabana rentals

  • Spa with steam room

Kiva Dunes Resort – Gulf Shores, Alabama Kiva Dunes Resort
Credit: Kiva Dunes Resort by kivadunes.com

Kiva Dunes Resort – Gulf Shores, Alabama

The Kiva Dunes Resort is nicely situated along Alabama’s best beach, West Beach, which extends from Gulf Shores Parkway to Dolphin Drive. Beachgoers love the soft, white sand here and the west end of the beach, which is usually less crowded than the east end. This is a family-friendly beach with calm waves that are perfect for taking a dip. You can rent houses and condos here and select a property and layout that suits your needs. Kiva Dunes has over a half-mile of private beach that’s secluded and relaxing. But the big draw here is the golf course, which was created by Jim Edgemon and is considered to be the top golf course in Alabama.

Key Amenities:

  • Top golf course in Alabama

  • Half-mile private beach

  • Condos and houses with pools

The Beach Club Resort & Spa – Gulf Shores, Alabama An annual tradition for many families
Credit: An annual tradition for many families by spectrumresorts.com

The Beach Club Resort & Spa – Gulf Shores, Alabama

The Beach Club Resort & Spa is a secluded beach resort that has been a home away from home for families since 1998. The resort property spans 86 acres and is designed around a village concept. Everything you want and need to do is located right on-site, including dining, shopping, and activities. It’s a great spot for a weekend getaway or an extended stay along the Gulf. Condos and cottages are available for overnight guests, and the beach is perfect for water sports and soaking up the sun. Other amenity offerings include tennis courts, a spa and salon, dining options, a golf simulator, indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness center, and kids’ activities.

Key Amenities:

  • Beach is about 100 yards away

  • Kids’ activities like crafts, yoga, and birthday parties

  • Wellness offerings, including a spa, salon, and sports courts

Perdido Beach Resort – Orange Beach, Alabama Perdido Beach Resort
Credit: Perdido Beach Resort by perdidobeachresort.com

Perdido Beach Resort – Orange Beach, Alabama

At the Perdido Beach Resort, you can join a Saturday morning yoga class, dine on authentic Gulf Coast seafood, and plan your next business meeting or group event. This resort has rooms and suites in Orange Beach, Alabama to give you a beachfront location and luxury amenities. For the ultimate retreat, stay on the Club Level and get access to a VIP lounge with complimentary breakfast, snacks, hors d’oeuvres, and cocktails. Guests staying in all rooms at the resort can enjoy the poolside bar and grill and pizza restaurant, which is a big hit with kids.

Key Amenities:

  • Seafood and pizza restaurants

  • Saturday morning yoga classes

  • Club Level with VIP lounge perks

Mississippi

Beau Rivage Casino & Resort – Biloxi, Mississippi Beau Rivage Casino & Resort
Credit: Beau Rivage Casino & Resort by Beau Rivage Casino & Resort

Beau Rivage Casino & Resort – Biloxi, Mississippi

The Mississippi Coast is well-known for its exciting casino scene, and one of the best to stay at is the Beau Rivage Casino & Resort. This high-rise resort has 85,000 square feet of casino space and has lots of other things to do besides gambling too. Take your pick between multiple gourmet restaurants, shop at the retail promenade, play golf at Fallen Oak, and treat yourself at the salon & spa. The casino has a poker room, table games, slots, and a high-limit lounge. This is also a great place to watch live performances with popular bands and musical artists.

Key Amenities:

  • Casino with table games

  • Salon and spa

  • Live entertainment

Margaritaville Resort – Biloxi, Mississippi Margaritaville Resort Biloxi
Credit: Margaritaville Resort Biloxi by Margaritaville Resort Biloxi

Margaritaville Resort – Biloxi, Mississippi

You can experience paradise on the Gulf Coast when you stay at the Margaritaville Resort in Biloxi. This is a family-friendly resort with a large arcade, rooftop water playground, and various dining and entertainment options. The Paradise Pier has rides to get your thrills, and there’s nothing like kicking back with a frozen cocktail to soak up the warm, salty breeze. Kids will love the water area, where you’ll find one of the best lazy rivers in the U.S.

Key Amenities:

  • 55,000-square-foot arcade to play games

  • Rock wall, ropes course, and bowling

  • Frozen cocktail bars and multiple dining venues

Island View Casino Resort – Gulfport, Mississippi

Island View Casino Resort – Gulfport, Mississippi

For your travels along the Gulf Coast, it’s also fun to stay at the Island View Casino Resort in Gulfport, Mississippi. This is a fun spot because there is live music at Sunset Bar on Fridays and Saturdays, a variety of restaurants, casino games to play, and pools with drinks available. You can join a free Sunday morning yoga class, play a game on the 18-hole championship golf course, and book an appointment at the spa here too.                                                                        

Key Amenities:

  • A variety of casino games

  • Pools with poolside drinks

  • Spa and golf course on site

Front Beach Cottages – Ocean Springs, Mississippi Front Beach Cottages
Credit: Front Beach Cottages by Front Beach Cottages

Front Beach Cottages – Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Ocean Springs, Mississippi, is known for local art and music, and it’s also surrounded by the Gulf Islands National Seashore, a great place for spotting birds and wildlife. The Front Beach Cottages are a great place to stay in this area to experience the laid-back local vibe. Take your pick among the Key West Cabana, NOLA Cottage, Bellano Cottage, and Lagniappe Cottage, and you’ll be within walking distance of some great downtown restaurants and live music venues. The beach is just a block and a half away from the cottages and is a great place for volleyball, bonfires, fishing, biking, and running. Biloxi is right across the bridge, where you can find casinos with gaming and entertainment.

Key Amenities:

  • Themed cottages with private patios

  • Bikes, kayaks and crab traps

  • Walkable to beach and historic downtown

Louisiana

Blue Dolphin Inn & Cottages - Grand Isle Blue Dolphin Inn and Cottages
Credit: Blue Dolphin Inn and Cottages by Blue Dolphin Inn and Cottages

Blue Dolphin Inn & Cottages - Grand Isle

Blue Dolphin Inn & Cottages is a hidden gem in Grand Isle, Louisiana. Head to this coastal town to discover an array of fresh seafood, Gulf Fishing, and clean beaches. You can choose from various accommodation types here, from one and two-bedroom Inn-suites located on the beach to one of the newly renovated cottages right across the street from the Gulf.

Key Amenities:

  • Decks and outdoor cooking areas

  • Spacious two and four-bedroom suites with full kitchens

  • All rooms include wall air conditioners and flat-screen TVs

Texas

Grand Galvez, Galveston Grand Galvez
Credit: Grand Galvez by Grand Galvez

Grand Galvez, Galveston

Enjoy views of the Gulf Coast during your next stay at Grand Galvez in Galveston. This luxury resort was actually built in 1911 and has grown into a sophisticated stay that is steps away from the beach. With a heated indoor pool, on-site spa, and ocean views from almost every room, you can enjoy your time inside before exploring Galveston’s top attractions. When the weather is nice, there is no need to travel far to enjoy the sand, sun, and fun that Galveston has to offer, as Grand Galvez is within walking distance of both the beach and the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier.

Key Amenities:

  • Ocean views from nearly every room

  • Home to a heated indoor pool and spa

  • Steps from the beach and the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier

The Galvestonian – Galveston, Texas The Galvestonian
Credit: The Galvestonian by galvestonian.com

The Galvestonian – Galveston, Texas

The Galvestonian is just a few minutes away from the shore and offers hotel rooms and resort condo rentals that have private access to the beach. The beaches here are groomed daily, and this beach destination is relaxing and secluded. Guests are also just a few minutes away from top Galveston attractions, like horseback riding, shopping, and dining. One, two, three, and five-bedroom accommodations are available here. If possible, join one of the resort’s nightly bonfires on the beach to enjoy music and s’mores by the fire.

Key Amenities:

  • Private beach access

  • Up to five-bedroom condos

  • Nightly bonfires on beach

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